Sunday, June 24, 2012

Open To The Sea

The Mouth of the Columbia River, Looking West from Somewhere Above Clatskanie, June 21, 2012 (Click for larger image.)

On Thursday, a magic carpet ride to Portland, five and a half hours in the arms of medicine at OHSU, and a magic carpet ride home again. The AngelFlight arrangements were made through KW, the social worker at OHSU. Much gratitude to her, to the Angel Flight West organization, and to the pilots: Dan for the southbound leg, Jeremy and George for the ride home.

Leaving Port Angeles, June 21, 2012. Dan With His Plane (Click for larger image.)

The weather was perfect, the flight as smooth as sitting in an armchair. Dan handed me the aviation map, and I followed our route all the way down, listening over the headset to pilots and dispatchers, watching Dan write things down on the log fastened to his thigh. The sky is full of planes, and one tower after another is keeping track of each of them every minute. Who knew?

We flew down Hood Canal, across Olympia, along the Columbia, and like magic were coming in to Portland Hillsboro. (Between the map-watching, and worrying about what had to get done in Portland, I didn't take enough advantage of getting pictures out the windows.)

HIO, Port of Portland's Hillsboro Airport. (Click for larger image.)

Thank you, Dan and Angel Flight, for wafting me to my medical adventure.

Supposing that I am accepted into the clinical trial for which we formally submitted me on Thursday, I'll become a science project; and will be traveling to Portland once a month. (Not necessarily by Angel Flight.) It must be my karma; I travel so often and hate it so much, naturally I have to travel even more and we must hope it will go on a long time... And that's all I'm going to say about that here. If you are on the group email list, you will hear more soon. Meanwhile, this trip was smooth as silk.

The long day of testing and paperwork completed, it was back to Hillsboro so Jeremy and George could fly me home.

Leaving Portland Hillsboro (HIO). Me and Jeremy. (Click for larger image.)

Lovely miscellaneous rural as we climbed up. Here and there were patches of scotch broom, out in the middle of nowhere. (Goats! There need to be flocks of goats set loose on them before they spread!) The Cascade peaks were much clearer in the afternoon, lined up along the eastern horizon, but none of the photos turned out.

Miscellaneous Rural, Somewhere North of Hillsboro (Click for larger image.)
Scotch Broom Below, Alas (Click for larger image.)

We crossed the Columbia River;

Columbia River, Maybe at Longview (Click for larger image.)

and out the other side of the plane, oh glory. George the co-pilot said into the headset: "Open to the sea. Imagine what Lewis and Clark felt." (This photo is the same as the one on top of this post, repeated here to compare to the map image.)

The Mouth of the Columbia River, Looking West from Somewhere Above Clatskanie, June 21, 2012 (Click for larger image.)
Map from Google Earth, from about the same angle (Click for larger image.)

Oh yes. I have often imagined what Lewis and Clark felt. The title of this blog (Ocean in View) comes from William Clark's journal, via the Westward Journey nickel issued in 2005, during the bicentennial of their trip. It's part of what brought me to the Northwest.

Olympia and Puget Sound were ahead. Soon we were flying up Hood Canal and looking into the Olympics.

Flying Up Hood Canal, Looking Into the Olympics (Click for larger image.)
Looking into the Olympic Mountains, Olympic National Park, June 21, 2012

Then the tower on Whidbey Island released us to hang a left and go directly west to Port Angeles. By then Jeremy and George were involved in descending for the landing; I was busy rubbernecking. We flew over the log yard, and then my neighborhood, and then I was home.

Approaching Port Angeles Airport (Click for larger image.)

Thank you, Jeremy and George and Angel Flight.

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